Zanu PF ‘tried to impose’ Nkomo successor

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Zanu PF tried to impose a successor for the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo on former Zapu members and this is one of the reasons the Unity Accord collapsed, former politburo member Dumiso Dabengwa said.

Nkomo died in 1999 and was succeeded by the late Vice-President Joseph Msika who died last year.
In 2008, Zapu led by Dabengwa, pulled out of the 1987 agreement that unified the former liberation movements citing unfulfilled promises.

At the weekend, Dabengwa told about 1 000 supporters who attended the party’s 50th anniversary celebrations at Barbourfields Stadium that some Zanu PF officials were against Msika’s ascendancy.

“Going back as far as 2000, after the failure to approve the 1999 draft constitution, which could have brought about meaningful change in Zimbabwe, members of Zapu continued to harbour the forlorn hope that our partners in government would see a glimmer of light and change their ill-treatment of the people and bad governance,” he said.

“A very significant event was the passing on of our former leader and true Father of Zimbabwe, in spirit, vision and all his actions — Nkomo.

“Zanu’s tactics to undermine Zapu became even more evident in their attempt to undermine the decision-making process in Zapu by imposing their own chosen successor to our deceased comrade and leader, Joshua Nkomo.”

Diverting from his prepared speech Dabengwa said Msika was Zapu’s chosen successor.

“When we were going for congress after Nkomo had died, we suddenly realised that there were a lot of secret meetings,” he said.

“When we asked they said they wanted to help us choose a successor.

“However, as Zapu people we stood our ground and told them that we know our leaders and it should be Msika only and no one else,” he said.

Dabengwa repeated his claims that Msika blessed the pullout from the Unity Accord.

“According to the Zapu way of doing things, we had to consult our leader in the unity arrangement who at that time was the late Msika,” he said.

“His advice was that only a Zapu congress could take the decision about the termination of the untenable and totally unworkable accord.”

The former Home Affairs minister said since a special congress was called in 1987 to endorse the agreement, a similar congress had to be called in May 2009 to endorse the pullout.